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The (Covered) Bridges of Humboldt County
Brookwood Covered Bridge
Our theme for +The Patch - PhotogrAphy Themed CHallenge this week was Bridges. I had a couple in mind at the beginning of the week, but these were bridges I had already shot before and I was struggling with how I'd shoot them in a fresh light. I shot some and thought I was done. When I got them into Aperture and started working on them I wasn't exactly thrilled with them. They met the themes, sure, but they looked like retreads, or worse, exact copies, of shots I had already done. Actually because of the weather recently these shots were worse than the original shots I had done. Basically I would have rather submitted 2 year old photos over these.
So I asked Google if there were any covered bridges nearby. Oddly Sure enough there were three, but time and weather limited me to only getting to one of them in time for the project's deadline. Built in 1969 the Brookwood Covered Bridge is the longest of the three bridges at 66 feet and crosses Jacoby Creek. The above shot is from the south-west side of the bridge and is a 5 shot hand-held panorama. I didn't choose to use this shot as my final submission, but I'm kind of wishing I had because of the lighting. I couldn't back up enough to capture the whole bridge so I resorted to shooting a panorama which Photoshop Elements had no problem stitching. I wasn't crazy about the exposure in the sky and in the water. And I was kicking myself for not using my polarizer which might have helped on those fronts, but it's not a bad shot and I really like the colors.
Brookwood and empty Jacoby Creek
I was kind of upset that I couldn't shoot from the opposite side of the bridge. This rock island is only on the north facing side of the bridge, so the rich colors from golden hour weren't hitting this side of the bridge but instead part of the kind of annoying foliage that I wished were cut away from the left side of the above photo. I started shooting from the right side of this shot and trying to keep tips I've come across in mind started moving forward, backward, and to the edge of the creek. I varied the height of my tripod and for this shot I'm nearly as low as it would allow. I felt this angle provided the most interesting point of view. This is a seven shot HDR that I ultimately chose to use because the sky is not as bad as it is in my regular shots. Having said that, I still very much dislike the sky in the right hand corner. I had hoped I'd have another clear day to try this shot again at sunrise but thankfully rain has come again. Hopefully it fills this creek a little more.
Before we get into the meat of this post, if you're viewing this on a mobile device, these photos really don't translate that well on it. These are large panoramic photos and really need a large screen to do them justice. Now on with the post.
Occasionally during my Eastern Sierra trip I had the idea to take panoramas to try and take in the full view of what I was seeing and feeling. I tried to focus on a part of the view I was seeing that would fill up my frame, but I felt that it didn't full get the whole feeling with only part of the view, but this led to other problems. All the panoramas I took were literally on the side of the road, meaning I was in the middle of driving, with someone who's not a photographer. So, not wanting to annoy them I left the tripod in the car and took these panoramas free hand. When taking handheld panos my general rule is to take many photos and to go well beyond and after my intended start and stop points so that the photo software has …
If you find yourself in the Eastern Sierra, I highly highly recommend taking a few hours and stopping by the Manzanar National Historic Site. It's tells the story of out not too distant past that we like to conveniently skip over. If you're not familiar with the significance of this site, this is where, shortly after the bombing of Hawaii by Japan in 1941, some 10,000 Japanese, most with US citizenship, were incarcerated. This site is one of ten sites around the country that would come to hold over 110,000 people, again most of which were US citizens, from 1942-1945.
I recently took a trip that led me through Bodie State Historic Park. If you haven't been, and would be interested in seeing what remains of a town that flourished during the latter part of the California Gold Rush, then died out almost as quickly as it sprang up, this is a must visit. I was lucky enough to arrive here during their opening week for the season, with wonderful weather.